Saturday, December 31, 2016


What to say about this gorgeous album, which was recorded on September 26, 1962, and released the following February on Impulse. It features standards such as "In A Sentimental Mood," and my two personal favorites--"Stevie," composed by Ellington, and "My Little Brown Book," by none other than Billy Strayhorn, Ellington's longtime collaborator.

Ellington was 63, and Coltrane, 36, at the time of this collaboration, which was one of many for Ellington. Coltrane said he was honored to work with Ellington, and he plays conventionally here, compared to what would come later. He had already formed his famed quartet and great experimentation was yet to come. Coltrane's only composition on the album is "Big Nick," but his respect for the material is evident and the collaboration with Ellington, smooth and memorable. This is ranked as one of the top 100 jazz albums of all time.

Featured are Coltrane on tenor and soprano saxophones; Jimmy Garrison on bass; and Aaron Bell on bass on cuts 1, 4, 5 and 7; Elvin Jones offers a modern, polyrhythmic style on drums; and Sam Woodyard plays drum on cuts 4, 5, and 7.

Check out Ellington's lyrical piano and Coltrane's bluesy accompaniment in "My Little Brown Book."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


If you are interested in Afro-Cuban jazz, you may want to read the story, "A Man's Hands En Clave," which celebrates the genre, in Jerry Jazz Musician, which celebrates jazz!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Now for some music from John Coltrane (This was in a very real sense Coltrane's spiritual/religious statement).
1. A Love Surpreme (full album) 1964

2. "Stellar Regions" from the album Stellar Regions (1967)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lullaby in Rhythm (Two Versions)

I bought "The Happy 'Bird'" as a $1.98 cut-out in Missoula back in 1973. This was my favorite track, labeled incorrectly as "I May Be Wrong." It is, in fact, "Lullaby in Rhythm," done up in the new day of bebop, with long solos by Wardell Gray. 
I was reading Kerouac at the time, nursing all of our innocent dreams of a sprawling country you could travel around in with some semblance of freedom--and believe me, we did indeed have that for a while. I racked up some serious miles hitching and riding Greyhounds and seeing all those little out-of-the-way places. For me this tune was a kind of anthem. 

Here's Benny Goodman's version of "Lullaby in Rhythm," from 1937-1938. I wanted to post something decent from the past, from a world of people creating something, a kind of country without borders, a country never declared, and without flags, and no need to conquer anyone.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


The Derwyn Holder Ensemble, featuring pianist-composer Derwyn Holder, will be performing his original jazz compositions at Deer Head Inn,  Sunday, Nov. 16, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Holder has played with jazz greats such as Sonny Stitt, James Moody, Zoot Sims, Charlie Ventura, Clark Terry, Buddy Tate, Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hartman, and others, and in 2012 composed a full symphony.

The other members of his ensemble include Alan Brady on alto sax; Ron Naspo on bass; and Bob Beck on drums. Brady played with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Ray Charles, and the Walter Thompson Orchestra. Naspo worked with Sonny Rollins, Stan Kenton, Wild Bill Davison, Bucky Pizzarelli, Billy Maxted, and the Don Shirley Trio. Beck played with Lionel Hampton, performed in LA studios and on Broadway, and has written and conducted more than 30 recordings.

Internationally renowned Guest Artist "Sweet" Sue Terry plays soprano sax and clarinet, is an author and Deer Head regular who leads her own groups, and is Artist in  Residence at the Jazz Society of Ecuador. More about her at

Deer Head Inn, which is known as the oldest continuously running jazz club in the country, offers food, music and lodging to visitors. It is situated at 5 Main Street, Delaware Water Gap, Penn. Admission to attend the jazz evening featuring the Derwyn Holder Ensemble, will be $10.

For more information regarding this exciting jazz venue, visit or call 570-424-2000.

Monday, September 22, 2014



Mary Morris's upcoming novel, THE JAZZ PALACE, is scheduled for release in April, 2015 and is being published by Knopf Doubleday.

ACTS OF GOD, a previous novel by Morris, is also set in Chicago during the jazz age.

Morris, who has published 14 books, teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College.



Jazz short stories by Arya F. Jenkins may be found on the Jerry Jazz Musician website:

Her published stories there, include the award-winning, "So What," also "Soliloquy," "The Bluest Train," "Epistrophy," and "Broad Street."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Some notes on EPISTROPHY

"Epistrophy" is Arya F. Jenkins' third of three short stories commissioned by Jerry Jazz Musician. The story features jazz as a theme and employs techniques of improvisation even as it explores elements of the taboo.

Jerry Jazz Musician is a unique online magazine featuring key interviews, articles, fiction and videos on the present and past scene in American jazz culture.

Note: "Epistrophy," is a tune composed by Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke. Monk often ended his sets with "Epistrophy."

Feel free to read and share.